Wondering about wild grapes

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wondering why the mind doesn’t know as much as the brain.

Was that title too long? I better be careful or I will write my whole blog in the title. If you thought the title was long, just wait until you start reading my blog (grin). Anyway, I don’t know why it is, but the brain knows much more than the conscience mind. It is a good thing it does, especially in my case.

Anyway, did you ever realize that you could do things or know things that you didn’t think you could do or how you do it? For example, you are driving down the road and someone calls you on your cell phone and wants some information. You have to look through a bunch of notes that you have in your pocket, figure out which note is the one, and then read it to the guy on phone. You hang up and to your surprise you have made all the correct turns and are now turning into your own driveway and you don’t remember the last six miles and the many turns, intersections, etc. on the route home. Your conscience mind was not driving, your brain was.

Try this little test. Put your hands up in front of you and pretend that you are holding the steering wheel of your car or truck. See yourself driving down the left hand lane. No steer into the right hand lane. Do this before you read any further.

OK, I read in “Discover” magazine that almost everyone did it completely wrong. It said: “The motion of turning the wheel rightward for a bit, then straightening it out again would steer you off the road: you just piloted a course from the left lane onto the sidewalk. The correct motion for changing lanes is banking the wheel to the right, then back through the center, and continuing to turn the wheel just as far to the left side, and only then straightening out. Don’t believe it? Verify it for yourself when you’re next in the car. It’s such a simple motor task that you have no problem accomplishing it in your daily driving. But when forced to access it consciously, you’re flummoxed.”

It went on with other examples, like WWII plane spotters and Japanese chicken sexers. Both carried out their assignments with extremely high accuracy but neither could explain how they knew so quickly. It has been proven that the human nervous system is not adequate to spot an over 100 mph fast ball, judge its location, decide what to do, and then tell which muscles to use to hit it, but a lot of those fast balls are hit. So, if you can’t consciously make yourself hit a fast ball, then I guess skipping the conscious part allows the brain to take over and do the job.

Maybe that is why I make so many typos, my brain wants to say one thing and my conscious mind wants to say another. Isn’t a spell checker wonderful? It doesn’t have a mind of its own.

You all have a great Labor Day and don’t let your brain get carried away with your mind. . . or what ever.


  1. Our minds get so used to a certain routine. For example I tried driving on the other side of the road in Jamaica.. Screw that! Turned the car in and used public transportation after that. My mind and body just could not get used to it at all.

  2. Ben, I bet that would be hard to learn to do. Like typing on a keyboard, I don't have to think where the keys are but if it is sitting there and I want to to type a couple of letters with one finger, I can't find the keys.

  3. I compete in archery competitions for recreation.
    One of the key components to shooting well is to let the subconscious mind determine when to pull the trigger. The conscious mind can only focus on one thing at a time, therefore one must practice to let the body take over and only think about aiming. Shooting a rifle well is done the same way. You can only think about aiming, let the finger decide the time.
    Strange but it works...

  4. Spud, that is why practice is impportant in most of the things we do.